Project Mulberry Discussion Questions

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

''Project Mulberry'' is a children's novel that explores themes of friendship, family, and identity through the eyes of a Korean-American girl. These discussion questions can help your students work through these themes and explore the book in greater depth.

Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry is a children's/young adult novel by Linda Sue Park in which two friends try to raise silkworms. This seemingly harmless project brings to light issues of prejudice, race, and identity, all seen through the eyes of a Korean-American girl. The book is generally considered to be most appropriate for upper-elementary and middle school students, so that's who these discussion questions are written for. However, these questions are also designed to be easily adaptable for slightly older or younger students and can be incorporated into most classrooms.

Questions About Characters and Plot

  • Who is the main protagonist of Project Mulberry? How are we introduced to Julia? What are your first impressions of Julia? What is her personality? What are her character traits?
  • How are we introduced to Patrick? Why do you think we meet Patrick so quickly? What does this tell us about his and Julia's relationship? What is Patrick like? How do we first get a sense of his personality?
  • In your own words, describe the plot of Project Mulberry, and try to do it in a single sentence. What is this book about? What happens in this story?
  • How do Julia and Patrick's character traits change throughout the story? Do we get to see different sides of them? Do their characters become more complex as the story progresses?
  • What is the central conflict in Project Mulberry? How is this conflict established? How is tension built throughout the story? What is the story's climax? How is the conflict resolved? How do you feel about this ending? What do you think the author is trying to say?

Questions About Structure

  • What perspective is used to tell this story? What are the advantages to telling a story in the first person? How does this help us get to know Julia better? What are the challenges that come with writing a story this way? Do you think the story would feel different from someone else's perspective?
  • How does Linda Sue Park use the first-person narrative to give us a sense of Julia's personality? What does it mean when we talk about an author's voice? What helped you connect the most with Julia? How did the author make you feel like you were inside Julia's thoughts?
  • One very unique element of Project Mulberry is the interviews between Julia and the author. What is the purpose of these? How does this help you understand Julia even better? How does it help you understand the book differently? What do these teach you about the process of writing a fictional story? Did you like these little interviews? Why or why not?

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